(The following letter was recently addressed to the Town of Oliver.)
I am at the end of my leash, pun intended. I am so upset that if I came in today in person, I’m afraid I would make a very ugly scene.
We live in a lovely town and have used a nice chunk of Lion’s Park for an off-leash area for dogs. So why is it that every time I go out to use the pathways and parks in town limits there are several dogs off leash?
There are signs adequately posted advising that dogs must be on leash, so why is this not being enforced? Why as a human am I not able to comfortably use the public land in which I pay taxes? It is not my job to have to confront dog owners when I feel threatened.
Where are you who get paid to do that job? The dogs I speak of are off leash, all sizes and kinds, with owners that don’t make an effort to hold them as they see me approach. As I run up the paths the owners clearly see me coming, so I slow or stop, waiting for them to leash the dog or at least hold them so I can pass. But they do not, they allow the dog, who has zeroed in me, to bolt towards me jumping up at me.
I can live with the bags of dog feces laying on the bridges and paths just feet from garbage disposals, that my taxes also help pay for, but this blatant disregard by dog owners of the law is inexcusable. It is unfair that when I run to relieve stress and tension, that I come home more stressed and upset, nor is it fair that you put me in the position to confront these offenders.
Until you start to enforce this bylaw and start fining offenders, this is not going to stop until someone, once again, is hurt. I am a parent of a child that was attacked by a family dog when she was four, and going through lengthy hospital stays and surgeries is not what any one deserves due to lack of law enforcement.
I expect a response from the Town on this issue on what it is going to do. I would also like to know if I can use bear spray within town limits. If so, that will be my line of defence until something is finally done. As well, I will start carrying my iPhone and filling your inbox with pictures and videos of my experiences. Please do not let it come to that. Such a sad world we live in when dogs have more freedom and are treated better than people. Perhaps I should run in the off-leash area, as it obviously is not being used. All I ask is to enjoy our parks and pathways.
Valerie Regnier, Oliver